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Dancing with the Stars

Thomas Somma (top) and Shawn Ahern(photo by Will Wrobel)
Thomas Somma (top) and Shawn Ahern(photo by Will Wrobel)

Keene, N.H. 6/7/2010: Two KSC dance students, Shawn Ahern and Thomas Sommo, have landed spots in the very prestigious Pilobolus dance company. Sommo, who just completed his sophomore year, has been invited to work with Shadowland, a Pilobolus project that tours abroad but has not premiered in the States yet. He’ll be heading to Pilobolus’ Connecticut studio in August to begin work.

Ahern, who graduated this spring, has signed a three-year contract to be a member of the principal Pilobolus company, touring nationally and internationally. He’ll be learning repertory and working on new pieces starting in September. His first performances will be in California, and then the company heads off to Israel in November. Mark your calendars: He’ll be back in the area early next year, performing at the UMass Fine Arts Center in February.

Ahern has nothing but praise for the dance program here at KSC: “My connections with the dance professionals I met during my training at KSC have been a primary influence in the realization of my goal of becoming a professional dancer.”

Some 300 dancers came from around the world and from such schools as NYU, Julliard, and the Boston Conservatory to compete for a coveted spot in Pilobolus. Another KSC student, Angie Hartley, made it to the top 12 finalists. That’s quite a statement about the talent our dance program is producing. Ahern said that when one of Pilobolus’ artistic directors realized that three amazingly talented dancers came from the same small state school in New Hampshire, he remarked, “What’s in the water in Keene?”

Watch a video interview with Ahern just after he landed the Pilobolus contract.

If you’re not familiar with Pilobolus, check out some of their work: Their spot on Late Night with Conan O’Brien

The commercial they did for Hyundai

Their work at the Oscars

And this fascinating profile of the company on 60 Minutes

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435